The Long Way Home by Kathleen O’Brien

kobrienMy guest today is the hugely talented and absolutely fabulous author, Kathleen O’Brien.  With well over 40 titles to her name, Kathleen has penned all types of romances that range from dark, brooding suspense to hot and sexy contemporaries and it’s no wonder she’s captured the hearts of millions of readers!

Kathleen’s new book from Tule Publishing, and book 4 in the Homecoming series, The Long Way Home captured my heart once again as I fell in love with her beautifully drawn characters.  She graciously agreed to join me here on my blog to share with you all more about her new release so please, help me welcome Kathleen O’Brien! —

At eighteen, Abby Foster had been the cutest little rich gal in Marietta, Montana. She could make boys do whatever she wanted—especially sweet, wild, penniless Joe Carlyle, who adored her. But a lot’s changed in the eight years since Abby broke Joe’s heart by marrying the rich guy her domineering father chose for her. Her father has died, and the “perfect” husband has bolted, taking all the money. More importantly, Abby’s grown up. She’s vowed to stop listening to other people and follow her own heart instead. Right now, her heart tells her to return to Marietta. The wildfire she felt in Joe’s arms has haunted her, and, though she doesn’t expect forgiveness, she hopes maybe he, too, would enjoy a brief, no-strings affair. If they can share just the seventy-two hours of Homecoming weekend…well, maybe then they’ll both find it easier to forgive, forget, and move on. But when she sees him, she realizes how naive that idea was. The years have changed Joe, too…and the passionate, powerful man he’s become isn’t someone she’ll ever forget. This time the heart she breaks may be her own.

People always ask whether my books and characters are taken from my own life.  My answer is always some variation of “I wish!”

But I do have to love and identify with each character I create….writers live very intimately for long periods of time with these people.  So I often give each person a trait that is either a quirk I have, or a quality I would love to have.

In THE LONG WAY HOME, Joe’s feisty mom, Mary, got my rotten cooking skills, poor lady. She loves her four boys, but she just can’t make herself concentrate on cooking for them all day long.  She has good intentions, starts off with high hopes, then inevitably gets distracted, grows bored, wanders off, and lets everything burn.

To my eternal regret, that’s me!  I admire people who are creative in the kitchen, and I wish so much that I could learn to be that way…but I’m afraid I’m hopeless.  All the recipes I work with have to be super easy.

Joe, my hero, has learned to be a pretty good cook, in self defense.  All the Carlyle boys have, which, in my opinion, goes a long way to making them the perfect heroes!

Here’s a recipe for the blueberry pancakes he makes for Abby at the Marietta High pancake fundraiser.  It’s super yummy, and easy enough that even I can make them!


2 cups unbleached flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Mix the dry ingredients together, and, in a separate bowl, mix the liquid ingredients.  Then combine and put in fridge for about 45 minutes.  Cook by ladling batter onto hot, no-stick greased griddle, creating whatever size pancake you prefer.  When first side begins to bubble, add blueberries to taste.  Flip only once.

Serve while piping hot, with the rest of the fresh blueberries piled on top.  If you like extra coconut flavor, add toasted shredded coconut, which you can easily toast right beside the pancake as it cooks.


Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing with  us!  Readers, as always, if you haven’t downloaded a copy of this book, please head to your online retailer and get it today and help me spread the word about this wonderful story.  And to make it more fun, I’ve got an amazing JP Fall prize including books, giftcards and treats for one lucky winner!  For a chance to win, tell me are you creative in the kitchen?  Or share what one trait you wish you had.  Winner will be announced on Wednesday.  Happy Reading!


  1. I am fairly creative in the kitchen and also have my tried and true ‘old faithfuls’. I love bringing the creations to my friends and family and have been known to ‘cart’ these over long distance…lol.

  2. I’m not creative in the kitchen. I can handle the basics and usually stick to dishes that require no preparation.

  3. I am creative in the kitchen…I bring my own touch to recipes. The one trait I wish I had is to have more patience in the kitchen I tend to get anxious and may rush things on occasion…need to relax and enjoy!

  4. i love cooking, always have, I’m a really good cook. Always getting and learning new recipes from others. Now if I could just get paid to cook and read, I’d be set.

  5. I love to experiment in the kitchen and I am always trying new recipes! Sometimes the results may not look pretty, but at least they normally taste good!

  6. I love finding recipes or even ideas for recipes in the books I read. When they are in the book, I always have to copy them before I share my books, just in case I don’t get them back!!

  7. I am creative in the kitchen, and usually with a little help from my 12 yr old grandson. He likes to experiment! But we have a lot of old family recipes, and I am glad to be passing them on to him!

  8. Fairly creative in the kitchen. Primarily baking love love love to bake. Not so much regular cooking meals. Tend to stick with tried and true recipes.

  9. I love reading about creative chefs… but I’m not too good at it.. but I love to eat so I always volunteer!!

  10. I love to experiment in the kitchen as often as I can but really can’t afford to do a lot!! I love taking recipies and add to or change up somewhat !! Cooking and backing is my favorite thing in this world to do!!!!! I just wish I had the funds to do a lot more, cooking makes me soooo happy!!!

  11. I can bake, and will get creative with cookies and cakes, trifles and truffles. With cooking, i need to stay pretty basic. Im picky, so I like my food basic anyway. LOL

  12. I like to cook. I have been cooking since I was in middle school which is way more years ago then I want to say. I can make a meAtloaf to putting a holiday dinner with all the fixin’ s on a table. I enjoy trying out homemade desserts, too. All you need are descriptions and faith in yourself.

  13. I have cooked three or more meals a day from scratch my whole life. I can be creative in the kitchen and being hungry helps the inspiration flow!

  14. I am a little creative with cooking in the kitchen. My interest & talent is more geared to baking. My Mom let us help her bake when we were growing up, but not cook.

  15. My brother and I are very creative in the kitchen. We both just look at what’s available and create with what’s at hand. He’s better with meaty dishes, and I love creating something new with vegetables and baked goods. I also like mixing various herbs and loose teas. So far no one complained about our cooking and everyone in the family loves eating with us =)

  16. I’m not creative in the kitchen, but I’m fortunate my husband is! He makes a few really good pasta dishes and a great orange chicken with fried rice.

  17. I can be creative in the kitchen and I love to try new recipes, but most of the time my three kids dictate what I can cook 🙂 🙂

  18. I usually stick to cooking food that I know how to make. My husband is more adventurous in the kitchen. He likes to experiment with recipes and makes the best dinners in the crock pot!

  19. I like to try new recipes but prefer tried and true recipes. I am a good cook and can be creative but on a day to day basis, tend to stick to food I’ve cooked that always comes out great.

  20. I’m creative with main dish make soon real good dishes but in baking I measure and stick to the recipes.

  21. I am not creative at all in the kitchen … or anywhere else for that matter. Never have been. 🙁 That would be a wonderful trait to “learn” at some point. 🙂

  22. I am not very creative in kitchen. I stick to basic recipes. I wish I was more creative especially with spices.

  23. I don’t have any cookbook..and now that i AM caring for husband full time due to a Major heart attack + I have 2 special needs kids that love baking & cooking. We wish we had any gift card because neither one of us has any income at all! LOVE YOUR BOOKS & Hope to win one as I just finishes a novel & am bored!!

  24. I love to cook and creative at different things I make and cook. I will go buy the book so I can keep it in my kitchen. Thank you

  25. Your novella sounds great! When I cook, it’s usually in the crock pot and I don’t follow a recipe. I cooked some chili yesterday and it was pretty awesome…but I don’t remember what I put into it. 🙂

  26. I especially love to bake, and am baking pumpkin cinnamon cookies right now! I substituted using butterscotch chips but I am mostly a “by the book” cook!

  27. Yes, I consider myself pretty creative in the kitchen. My daughter and I are constantly baking and if not getting something off Pinterest we are making things up ourselves.

  28. I am far from creative when it comes to cooking. In fact, I just don’t know much at all. If it weren’t for easy and convenient meals, we would probably live on take-out. I’m also a tad but lazy in the kitchen too and have no desire to learn.

  29. I wouldn’t say that I’m creative in the sense that I make up my own dishes. But I have been known to try out new recipes that I’ve found. I’m always into trying different things, just not so much as creating them. Thanks for another great giveaway. Congratulations Kathleen on your new book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  30. Hi! I love cooking in the kitchen and I have tons of cookbooks but I like to make my own recipies, working in a deli I came up with some good ones and now that I live in fla. my brother calls me on how I made some of them. I love making my banana bread and cookies for the holidays so I give them out for gifts!

  31. I do like to cook from scratch, but I don’t know that I would be called creative. Baking isn’t my favorite thing to do; so, when I do do sweets, then that would be the time that I’m creative.

  32. Well, i can never say that im good at cooking though i can cook and always love the feeling that my family loves my prowess in kitchen. Actually, it runs in the blood. My grandmother, my mother, auntie’s even my father expertly handles the kitchen. Every time there are celebrations in our neighbourhood expect that it is our family they hire to cook for them

  33. I’m creative in the kitchen when I have time and have the patients for a really savory meal or delish dessert 🙂

  34. When I actually cook or bake I like to try creative things but I also like to stick to tried and true depending on my mood.

  35. I love to cook and bake, so I would consider myself to be a decent cook. I’m always looking for new recipes to try. When my kids were little they would join me cooking or baking something. I think that is why they are confident in their own cooking now that they are young adults.

  36. Yes, I am creative in the kitchen. I switch ingredients up and often come up with new recipes (that pass my husband’s and friends’ “quality control testing”)!!!

  37. I wish I could sew and make my grandchildren Halloween costumes.

    I like to cook but I do not like to have a timetable. I have a terrible time getting things done at the same time.

  38. I love to cook and bake. I just hate being rushed and having to clean up afterward! I love looking for new things and adding my own twist on recipes I find….

  39. I am creative in the kitchen..and I knit/crochet in the livingroom..and I’ve been sewing in the diningroom too.

  40. I am not a good cook, however, I make a decent stuffing for Thanksgiving. Everyone seems to like it and no matter how much I make, there is never enough.

  41. Hello, Hope you feel better soon 🙂 That blueberry coconut pancakes sounds so good. I love both,so will definitely try.

  42. I love to try new things and add twists to old recipes. Sometimes it comes out good and sometimes the dog won’t even eat it. lol

  43. Yes, I very creative in the kitchen, my family loves to eat and so I love to cook, I try making new dishes every week and they are always willing to try my new dish! Thanks for the chance!

  44. I am and I am not creative in the kitchen. I love to bake and always try my best. I love to make cakes and cookies and anything else i can pop into the oven. Before my bread machine died, I loved to make dough in the machine, then pop it into the oven, as I didn’t feel the machine baked it too well. Without the bread machine, I feel lost in making bread.

  45. I love to cook and bake I find it totally relaxing which makes people think I’m weird but I don’t care. I love seeing the reward at the end and know I created it.

  46. I don’t cook. My boyfriend is the cook though and will be teaching me. I really want to learn basic meals and how to bake a cake the proper way.

  47. Haha no I am a disaster in the kitchen. I still try but some how it always ends up burnt or not the way it should be. I blame the crappy oven in my apartment! I wish I could just throw stuff together the way my Mom does. It always turns out great!

  48. I’m creative in the kitchen. I love to bake. I actually just took a recipe for muffins and totally changed it up. I didn’t like how the first batch turned out so I made some adjustments and the Strawberry muffins with fresh cut strawberries in them turned out so freaking YUMMY. My minions tore into them like no tomorrow. So I’m taking that same recipe and making Vanilla Pineapple muffins 🙂

  49. I need to follow a recipe and despite subscribing to various cooking magazines for inspiration, I tend to make the same things. Wish I could cook with a little less planning.

  50. I LOVE to create in the kitchen- especially candies
    With chocolate! Most recently was homemade snickers for Halloween! Wish I had more time- but I gotta work! :/ haha!!

  51. Hi Jane!
    I live cooking and an fairly creative from uprating frozen foods with extra ingredients (my hash brien casserole with peppers jalepenos sour cream onions scallions cheddar mozzarella and Parmasean is quite a knock out! To more traditional baking and sweet squares for the family birthdays .. Currently I’m making green tomato chutney and some vodka damson jam and have damson vodka in bottles to give as Xmas gifts … Quick, simple and tasty x

  52. Sometimes I try being creative and sometimes it turns out well and sometimes it fails, but I still like to try.

  53. I hold my own in the kitchen. I love trying new recipes, things that are fun or exotic just plain different. But I almost always tweak a recipe. I might take something out, and add something I like in better or something. I get bored with the same old, same old. So I am inventive and I like to explore! My family goes along with me and most the time everything’s a hit! 🙂

  54. I am very fortunate that my husband does the cooking Mondays to Fridays. Saturdays we usually buy lunch and dinner. Sundays are my days to cook and usually I try out something that I have found online that sounds interesting, especially if it a dish from another country. If anyone wants to learn West Indian cooking, look up Chris is my go-to guy.

  55. I love to get creative in the kitchen. I usually depend on a recipe the first time, and then I get creative and make my own modifications.

  56. I wish I was a great writer! Truly, that is a trait I envy! I am NOT creative in the kitchen, boo me, I “assemble” meals. I broil my veggies, add a salad, serve a protein source, and call it a meal! Usually tasty and nutritious, but never creative!

  57. This looks like a great book and fun to ready! Adding it to my list right now…also love that coconut-blueberry pancake recipe! Yum!

  58. I’m not creative in the kitchen but I wish I was so. These pancakes sound delicious. I hope you feel better soon 🙂

  59. I like to get creative in the kitchen and try different flavors. My kids are usually okay with most of my creations.

  60. I can cook & bake following recipes. I don’t make up or vary from them though. Don’t have the knack for that 🙂

  61. My daughter is the one who is so creative in the kitchen. She can concoct almost anything, never from a recipe. Love dinners at her house. Love good books too.

  62. I have my trusty recipes that I have made since I was a kid, but I do like to try new recipes for baking. I am creative with regular food. How can I disguise vegetables so that I will eat them!!

  63. I am not creative in the kitchen, and I wish I were. I can follow a recipe, and with Pinterest to inspire me, I do.
    But my husband, can, I swear, look into a fridge full of old watercress and horseradish and imagine and create a fabulous dish.
    Of course, he can never re create it……..

  64. I’m fairly creative in the kitchen. If I’m trying a new recipe I follow the directions exactly. Then when I try it, I can come up with some way to improve it to my tastes. Sometimes I add extra or different seasonings and other times I’ll make a dish vegetarian. I do wish I was creative enough to come up with a recipe on my own, but I don’t have the patience.

  65. I so enjoy reading cookbooks, but my skills in the kitchen are lacking. My hubby cooks most of the time now that we are both retired. What a hero he is to me! 😉

    Hello Kathleen, I will look for your books. Thanks Jane for the introduction. Best of luck to all at Tule Publishing.

  66. It depends on what you mean. I don’t create recipes, though I wish I could! I do change recipes sometimes and I absolutely love to create things in the kitchen. I make a lot of creative food gifts and I just made Halloween breakfast for the staff at school – complete with jello worms, eyeball cookies, oreo mummies and much more!!

  67. I am a marginal cook at best. Any help is always appreciated and welcome. The pancakes sound awesome though!

  68. I’m not very creative in the kitchen, but I’m good at faking it. Most of my family would say I’m a great cook.

  69. I love baking but I’m not very creative in the kitchen. I always stick to the recipe. It makes me too nervous to change it.

  70. I live in the kitchen I love to cook just wish I was good at the baking part. Would love to learn how to make breads.

  71. I’m not terribly creative, but I do make a mean chicken soup & a split pea soup that my husband does like to eat. And before I made them, he wasn’t terribly fond of soup. Also I’m pretty good at crockpot meals.

  72. I like to bake, also. I stay away from anything chocolate since my husband’s allergic. I do occasionally bake yeast raised bread, have a great recipe for yeast rolls. When I wanted to learn how to make yeast raised bread, I searched and found an adult ed class, which helped greatly.

  73. I am very creative in the kitchen, I love cooking, baking breads from scratch, baking sweets of all kinds.

  74. I am creative in the kitchen but probably more so with baking than cooking. I’ve been baking and learned since my teens.

    Dh only makes two things and they are pancakes and now waffles so will show him the recipe. I immensely enjoy when he makes them.

  75. Now that I’m no longer working, I have gotten very creative in the kitchen. My husband likes all of the new chicken recipes and others I have been making. I even made my homemade chicken parmesan when I went to visit my daughter and her family this summer.

    My baking skills have also improved immensely and I like trying new recipes. My friends are also enjoying my experiments in the baking arena because I always bring them generous amounts to try. They have even been liking recipes on Facebook and linking my name to them so I will try baking them.

  76. I don’t really like to spend time in the kitchen, though I’m not a *horrible* cook, just a boring one. I really wish I could sing well.

  77. I love cooking/baking!! I think I’m fairly good at wonderful fiance adn, children are my test tasters and never complain (god love them) pinterest is now on my evil list I spend hours looking for new recipes and ideas and looking for new things to try. I also do cake decorating and am always testing my abilities and trying new things with that! I started teaching my daughter at around 6 now at 11 she can ab make any recipe you put in front of her baking or full meals!

  78. Yes I am creative in the kitchen. That being said, what I create isn’t always well-liked by everyone in my house. I make some good deserts, that look really weird, but they get eaten. Then I make stuff that looks great, but doesn’t taste so great. Go figure. I love creating and playing around with recipes though.

  79. I enjoy being creative in the kitchen by trying new twists to recipes. I enjoy adding a pretty dish and fabric color to the table to accent the dish or time of year. You can add food coloring to a sauce or dessert and flowers or foliage on the table, to make the mood festive. Music also adds flair and happiness to your meal. We have a grape arbor and come October we have an “I Love Lucy” Grapestomping event. I serve an IItalian dinner with guests bringing wine.I dress up a mannequin as Lucy sitting in the Living Room. All the guests pick the grapes… and yes we stomp them and watch the Lucy episode.

  80. I love being creative when I’m cooking or baking. I like taking a recipe and making it mine by changing some of the ingredients.

  81. I guess I am creative. I was given a huge can of hominy and decided to make it for a potluck supper. I have never tasted hominy. I added butter, enchilada sauce and cheese, then baked it. I was pleasantly surprised. Man that carried it inside for me said it smelled wonderful.

  82. i like to cook but never feel creative enough. I stick with the familiar. Tried and true. Need to create more.

  83. Actually as I have gotten older and started trying new things in the kitchen, I have really grown to love it and become quite a good cook 🙂

  84. I am not creative in the kitchen but I am a pretty good cook. The problem here is my boys don’t want to try new things so I have to cook the same things all the time.

  85. I am creative cooking in the kitchen, always coming up with new supper ideas but I cannot bake to save my life, I’m horrible. Funny considering my German grandmother is one of the best bakers in the tri-state area.

  86. MY idea of being creative in the kitchen has much less to do with cooking food and much more to do with the steamy parts of some of your books…lol!

  87. I can get pretty creative – especially with leftovers. But when I bake I’ve found it’s best to follow the recipes with few variations – baking is much more scientific.

  88. This is an author that I have not yet read. I would love to win so, I could enjoy another authors work.

  89. I forgot my kitchen creativity….I always keep staples in the pantry. If I have unexpected company drop in I can always be the gracious hostess by offering nibbled.

  90. I like to be creative in the kitchen, casseroles are one of my favorite dishes to make especially since the weather is turning cooler!

  91. i use to love to cook but now that i am disabled, i am not good or productive in the kitchen.My neighbor cooks for me because it hurts me to stand.Thank you

  92. Mmmm….those sound so good!!!! I can’t wait to try them! I’m a pretty good cook, but I’m not good at making up my own recipes…I’m just good at following them. Lol

  93. I love cooking and baking. I use recipes as a guide line, I add my own ingredients to the recipe. I also make up my own.

  94. I’d like to think I’m creative, my husband keeps telling me that I need to open a restaurant – he enjoys most everything I cook/bake

  95. I wish I was creative in the kitchen but it never turns out like I pictured it in my head. If I could choose one trait it would be the ability to throw a bunch of random ingredients together and have it turn out like I had pictured it in my head!

  96. I dream about making wonderful things but by the time I get home from work the last thing I want to do is cook, and my husband is not adventurous in his tastes so I tend to stick to the same things that I can make quickly and easily.

  97. I concoct i tend totake one recipe and modify it to what i want it to be. I never follow a recipe other then for things like dough other then that its a pinch and a dash and it always comes out so good

  98. Unfortunately I’m not creative at all in the kitchen. There are some recipes that I do enjoy making and my family seem to really like—my chicken divan, king ranch chicken, apricot pudding and my mom’s meatloaf 🙂

  99. I like to cook and am not afraid to try new recipes, but I’m not too creative. I wish I were more inventive on my own!

  100. I am finally back to being creative in my kitchen. With the empty nest, I hadn’t wanted to do much there. Our youngest has been married 8 years!Hubby is looking to retire within two years and has realigned the finances in preparation. So, creativity is necessary once more, and my enjoyment is returning!

  101. I love to be in the kitchen! I’m not sure how creative I am–because I usually need a recipe; however, I’m the queen of substitutions (with success, I may add 😉

  102. We are empty nesters, and I miss cooking for my kids. I think it really filled a.special.part of me! I wish I was a better writer…but I sure love writing what you gals write. Keep it up!

  103. Thanks, Kathleen and Jane. I’m a passable cook for simple recipes.

    As for the fancy stuff, I don’t know. I’ve never tried. I have no interest in gourmet food. So if I have any talents in that field, they must remain forever undiscovered.

    Good luck with your new and upcoming releases!

  104. I used to be more creative in the kitchen. I don’t have the opportunity to cook much anymore since I moved in with my daughter and her family. I do help out some during the holidays though.

  105. I’m fairly creative in the kitchen. I love coming up with new combinations and trying out new recipes. I sure wish I could cook as good as my Memaw did. She was an expert cook.

  106. Everyone, thank you for doing such an awesome job of welcoming Kathleen to Janeblog and also for sharing about your creative skills. I loved reading through all the comments! It was hard to pick a winner but I pulled Mac in to help and he chose –

    #1 Ruth Bousquet

    And then he chose another one so we have a surprise second winner too!! And that second winner is…

    #138 Dea Ogata

    Yay! Ruth and Dea, please shoot me emails with your mailing info and we’ll get these prizes in the mail to you.

    Hope you’re all doing well. I have more fun lined up for you and still lots of great giveaways coming up so stay tuned!

    Jane xoxo

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